Hemophilia patients to get free medication

MEDICINE used for the treatment of Hemophilia disease is now available in Rwanda, an official has said.

MEDICINE used for the treatment of Hemophilia disease is now available in Rwanda, an official has said.

According to Dr Fabien Ntaganda, a pathologist at Rwanda Military Hospital, the medicine provided by World Federation for Hemophilia (WFH), can now be accessed at University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) for free. Hemophilia is a medical condition in which the ability of the blood to clot is severely reduced, often due to lack of what is medically called factor VIII.

 Ntaganda said the medicine is very expensive with 200 IU unit costing about US$500 without laboratory testing charges. 

He said the drugs will be given in public hospitals and patients with hemophilia will benefit from the medicine free of charge courtesy of the World Federation for Hemophilia.

But we need also to have a plan B in case World Federation for Hemophilia stops buying them for us, Ntaganga said.

The hematological disease is characterised by a lack of either factor VIII or IX which lead to two types of disease: hemophilia A and B.

The disease in most cases affects male patients and has a tendency to bleed in big joints.

In a statement, Antonio José Almeida, Programs Director of the World Hemophilia Federation, said the anti-hemophilia campaign is a humanitarian aid donation with no commercial value aimed at treating hemophilia patients who are in urgent need.

“This donation is a free gift, with no commercial value, to be used exclusively for the treatment of persons with hemophilia in Rwanda,” stated Almeida.

Although there are no statistics on the disease at CHUK, medics say more than 20 children have been diagnosed with the disease there.

Dr Ntaganda said 6 patients have been diagnosed with the disease at King Faisal Hospital Kigali.

“We have a significant number in our country but we were not benefiting from any medical assistance because hemophilia is classified as an ‘orphan disease’ with lifetime supply,” Ntaganda added.

Medics say prior to treatment, it is important to diagnose correctly the disease and to classify it, as the treatment varies according to the type of the diseases.

One of the big complications associated with the disease is the development of inhibitors which make the usual treatment ineffective.